Tag Archives: fantagraphics books

Review: Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from New Europe

Ali Fitzgerald‘s new graphic novel, Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories from New Europe, is part graphic memoir and part comics journalism. Chronicling her experience in Berlin working with refugees seeking asylum the graphic novel is heartbreaking capturing the reality of these individuals who are seeking a better life and running from tragedy. This is one that brings reality to the page opening eyes to those who are not experiencing it directly.

It’s about loss, community, and how art can bring us closer together.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW


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Fantagraphics to publish BTTM FDRS by Ezra Claytan Daniels & Ben Passmore

Fantagraphics hasannounced the acquisition of BTTM FDRS by writer Ezra Claytan Daniels and artist Ben Passmore. Out in Summer 2019, this shocking satire explores a world where gentrification and body horror collide in a rapidly changing Chicago.

Once a thriving working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, The “Bottomyards” is now the definition of urban blight. When an aspiring fashion designer, Darla, and her image-obsessed BFF, Cynthia, descend upon the neighborhood in search of cheap rent, they discover something far more seductive… and deadly.

At its core, BTTM FDRS is an allegory for cultural appropriation, which first fears, then desires, then takes, then nullifies the object of appropriation without suffering personal consequence. Diverse, dynamic, and thought-provoking, BTTM FDRS aims to appeal to an audience that encompasses anyone who enjoys smart writing with thrilling visuals

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Archie Meets Batman ’66 #2 (Archie Comics) – The two worlds collide in a fun adventure that really works in the first issue. We didn’t get a lot of Batman/Archie action but it looks like this issue will get us there.

Batman #53 (DC Comics) – This storyline has focused on Bruce Wayne on a jury to decide if Mr. Freeze is guilty after Batman pins him to a murder.

Crowded #1 (Image Comics) – In the future, it runs on an economy of job shares and apps and someone has targeted an individual who then hires the lowest-rated bodyguard to protect her.

Edge of Spider-Geddon #1 (Marvel) – Spider-Verse round 2 is what this sounds like as the multiverse’s Spider-people come together once again.

Extermination #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s big X event that has something to do with the original X-Men… we’re intrigued and hoping this is a return to the great events of the past.

Fence #9 (BOOM! Studios) – A comic about fencing!? Add in a little drama and this comic has quickly become one of our favorites. This is a great example of looking at what others are doing, in this case manga sports comics, and bringing it to Western audiences. Fantastic all around.

Hellicious #2 (Starburn Industries Press) – The first issue of this series was hillarious in a nice twisted way. Short take: little girl who’s a demon and likes to torture things. As we said, twisted.

Infinity Wars #2 (Marvel) – The lead up series left us wanting but the first issue of Marvel’s summer event really caught us off guard in a good way. We’re excited to see what happens next and honestly, we have no idea where this one is going.

Injustice vs. the Masters of the Universe #2 (DC Comics) – We expected a fun first issue but not one with so much depth and thought. Will the second issue be a repeat and continue to surprise? We’ll find out!

Pearl #1 (DC Comics/Jinxworld) – Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld comics are now being published by DC and this new series he’s back with long time collaborator Michael Gaydos. We’re beyond excited.

Ruinworld #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was adorable, fun, and funny, and we’re excited to read this second issue of this webcomic that has come to print!

Tongues #1 (Fantagraphics) – Anders Nilsen series taking place in the modern Middles East following the entwined stories of an imprisoned god, the eagle that is his jailor, an east African orphan on an errand of murder and a young American with a teddy bear on his back, lost in a trackless wilderness. Revenge, evolution, the fate of the world… and a talking chicken.

Terminator: Sector War #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Terminator series and with a new film in production, we’re excited for what’s to come!
Undocumented (Abrams Comicarts) – The story of immigrant workers who come to the United States without papers. A timely graphic novel we’re excited to see humanize this reality.

Volition #1 (Aftershock Comics) – It’s the not too distant future where a race of robots has spawned but are second class citizens. They struggle for equal rights but a virus threatens all artifical life.

The Comics Journal Returns to Print this January

Fantagraphics Books has announced the return of the award winning, internationally acclaimed The Comics Journal as an in-print magazine. Starting in 1976 as a monthly periodical and evolving into a massive book-sized format in 2013,The Comics Journal will resume at issue #303 as a more accessible magazine with a twice yearly publication schedule. The Comics Journal #303 will be released in January of 2019.

The Comics Journal was co-created over four decades ago by Gary Groth, holding the medium to high critical standards as well as presenting in-depth and thought-provoking interviews and editorials. In January, the magazine will carry on that honored tradition with two new managing editors: RJ Casey and Kristy Valenti.

Issue #303 features Gary Groth in discussion with the satirist and children’s book author Tomi Ungerer. “I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle, a saddle I have missed, and conducting interviews with cartoonists, from young whippersnappers to vital legends, says Editor-In-Chief Gary Groth. “My long interview with Tomi Ungerer in this issue is a dream come true.”

This issue covers the “new mainstream” in American comics and how the marketplace and perception of the medium has drastically shifted since the “graphic novel boom” of the early 2000s and massive hits like Persepolis, Fun Home, and Smile. It also includes sketchbook pages from French-born cartoonist Antoine Cossé, an introduction to Alex Gard’s homoerotic gag cartoons out of the U.S. Navy by Mannie Murphy, Your Black Friend cartoonist Ben Passmore’s examination of the role art and comics have in gentrification, a reconsideration of the comics canon by Eisner Award-winner Dr. Sheena C. Howard, and much more.

TCJ.com, the magazine’s online counterpart, will continue updating every day with completely separate content and managed by editors Tim Hoddler and Tucker Stone.

The Comics Journal #303 is slated to release in bookstores, comic shops, and online in January 2019. The Comics Journal #304 is set to release in June 2019.

Review: Total Jazz

The first actual time I heard anything resembling jazz was Chuck Mangione. As a kid growing up in the early 1980s I had parents who still listened to music from the 1970s, especially disco music. Another genre my parents got into was popular music and for one bright instance in the 1970s Mangione’s “Feels So Good,” was a crossover hit. I can still remember hearing that beautiful trumpet play and it always takes me back to my childhood. That’s why when King Of The Hill had him appear as himself on several epsiodes, with “Luanne’s Saga” being the most memorable, it definitely brought a smile to my face.

Of course, since Chuck Mangione came out with that hit many artists before him and after him have crossed over to popular culture. As one of jazz purist uncle has said to me many times, “that is not jazz,” as many artists like Mangione, George Benson, Kenny G, and Al Jarreau, have made it on to the popular music charts. As I grow older and listen to all genres of music I have realized the true beauty of the music. It’s tenuousness, just like hip hop. It defies convention. In Blutch’s Total Jazz the auteur seeks to give the pedestrian music fan a rudimentary examination of music by itself but also jazz culture covering the many subgenres, the artists, and even the fans.

In “the Melody of Words” a young Apache princess listens to for her lover’s intentions through his action, one that makes her his bride. In  the Sound,” a musician looking to find a sound of his own ends up emulating one of his favorite jazz players. In “The Muse,” a young woman becomes the inspiration for four different musicians over the course of her life. In “Study on the Prejudice of classic comics to Jazz,” the vignette shows how comics have portrayed jazz music under unflattering light. In “She Shot Lee Morgan,” an artist’s death makes another artist appreciate the woman by his side.In “the Life of an Artist 2,” an artist whose idol is Sonny Rollins imbues himself into his idol’s work routine gaining fans all his own. In “MDD III,” Blutch charts the life of Miles Davis through his evolving personal style. In the last of the vignettes I will highlight “Diary of a Consumer,” the meager availability of jazz music in stores has reduced significantly, where now fans have look to the internet for their latest music fix.

Overall, an outstanding collection of visual essays that seeks to explore all facets of jazz music and what actually makes up jazz culture.The stories by Blutch are relatable, funny, and true. The art by Blutch shows skills that adjust to each unique story. Altogether, an essential book to add to your collection if you love jazz, but especially if you like music and the culture that surrounds it.

Story: Blutch Art: Blutch
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Bloody Cardinal

As far back as I can remember popular culture has always been obsessed with murder mysteries. This is the exact reason Sherlock Holmes has been such a pivotal figure in law enforcement even though he is completely fictional. This obsession also is why the world has been somewhat fascinated with Jack the Ripper.  AS this murder mystery has been the subject of several books, tv shows, comics and movies.

Even the world-renowned crime author, Patricia Cornwell, did her own research into the subject which she turned into a true crime book. This very fascination explains a lot about humans and our obsessions with people who explore the darker recesses of the mind. Al Capone and John Dillinger are considered legendary and why these subjects continue to be explored. This obsession spills over into comics as Richard Sala explores a similar fictional figure in The Bloody Cardinal.

In the opening pages, we meet a young lady, Clara Clarette, who is looking for a rare book, but something about the book shop and the mysterious details that booksellers give her, leaves her suspicious. This leads to her being killed by knife, which introduces us to Inspector Coronet and Doctor Sun, who is investigating her murder and Bill Beaker, the “Bloody Cardinal” would be his number one suspect, if he wasn’t dead himself. We also meet Trini Toledo, who was the last person Clara spoke to. By book’s end, we find out who was possibly using Beaker’s identity but as all good mysteries do, it ends with a twist that no one saw coming.

Overall, an excellent book which proves Sala is one the premiere crime noir writers of our time. The story by Sala is frightening, unnerving, and suspense filled. The art by Sala is entrancing. Altogether, a spooky thriller which will have readers second guessing their instincts about who the killer is until the end.

Story: Richard Sala Art: Richard Sala
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Fantagraphics Presents: The Disney Masters Series!

Fantagraphics has announced the launch of a new series, Disney Masterswhich highlights acclaimed artists from around the world working in the grand Walt Disney tradition. Many of these stories are new to American readers and appear here for the first time in English. New artwork, new adventures, and new laughs!

Featured creators will include:

Romano Scarpa, one of the most famous Italian creators of Disney comics, builds on the rich Disney tradition of comedy and drama.

Disney Masters Vol. 1 Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Delta Dimension
$29.99 – Hardcover – 208 pages – Full Color – 7.5″  x 10.25″ – ISBN 978-1-68396-096-6
Release Date: 5/15/18

Luciano Bottaro, one of the most beloved Italian cartoonists, spins wild, thrilling, proto-psychedelic epics that surprise and delight.

Disney Masters Vol. 2 Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Uncle Scrooge’s Money Rocket
$29.99 – Hardcover – 192 pages – Full Color – 7.5″  x 10.25″ – ISBN 978-1-68396-109-3
Release Date: 6/5/18

Paul Murry, an American, carried Floyd Gottfredson’s swashbuckling, crime-fighting Mickey Mouse from comic strips into comic books, crafting stories of suspense, danger, and fun.

Disney Masters Vol. 3 Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Case of the Vanishing Bandit
$29.99 – Hardcover – 184 pages – Full Color – 7.5″  x 10.25″ – ISBN 978-1-68396-113-0
Release Date: 7/15/18

Daan Jippes, who lives in the Netherlands, is famous worldwide for his adventures of Donald Duck drawn in the tradition of Carl Barks. Freddy Milton, from Denmark, is also famous in Europe, and is highly acclaimed for his Donald Duck stories.

Disney Masters Vol. 4 Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Great Survival Test
$29.99 – Hardcover – 192 pages – Full Color – 7.5″  x 10.25″ – ISBN 978-1-68396-111-6
Release Date: 8/15/18

Review: Unreal City

There is something about watching and/or reading anthologies which tell a common theme. This is why Love Actually is still one of the most talked about movies almost 20 years after it came out. There was someone everyone can identify with in each character. The one character in the movie which I most identified with, and this was due to my general shyness, is Mark, Andrew Lincoln’s character.

Now, I know most people know Lincoln, from his character in the Walking Dead, but the way he depicted how painful being shy is, cut right through me. Most of these movies, that depicted a general them usually are considered universal, that is also why Garry Marshall’s movies feels so honest. As they usually showed a city is filled with people just like you even when you think you are all alone. So, when I heard D.J. Bryant’s Unreal City, I knew I was in for a treat.

In “Echoes to Eternity”, a woman in an unhappy marriage, feels as if she is being dragged down by the world, that is until she finds a place that feels all too familiar, but she has no recollection of.In”Evelyn Dayton-Holt”, a woman continusously tortures her husband, until she realizes the monster she has become. In” Emordana”, a theater goer becomes engrossed in a play to where becomes part of it in the weirdest way.” In the “Yellowknife Perspective”, a man gets trapped in a museum where a time loop exists, which leads him to question whether his girlfriend is a figment of his imagination. In “Objet D’Art”, a man’s infatuation becomes his undoing until he meets the love of his life.

Overall, a creepy, gripping and entertaining set of stories, that will either divide or unite readers, as these stories are not for kids. The stories by D.J. Bryant is uneasy, riddled with black humor and ones the reader will soon not forget. The art by D.J. Bryant reminds me of Daniel Clowes work, but with a panache all his own. Altogether, a book and an artist to watch out for.

Story: D.J. Bryant Art: D.J. Bryant
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4R ecommendation: Buy

Review: How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels

I remember the first time I saw a comic strip, it was on the back of the newspaper my Dad was reading when I was 5. I wanted to know more, I wanted to understand what they were talking about. This lead to my Dad taking me and my sister to picking up our first comic books when I was 7. This lead to me want to read, comic strips, first, then comic book s and eventually everything I was inquisitive about.

Yet the comic strip is the building block from whence I came, and how thousands of kids around the world came to want to read. As true as those may have been when I was growing up, it no longer is as true now. Now the world, could care less for reading comic strips in newspapers, as everything you can find digitally. In Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden’s How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels, it reminds well-worn readers and novices how one should enjoy sequential art.

We are introduced to Ernie Bushmiller, the creator of Nancy, as we get to find out how he started drawing comic strips. As fascinating as the history of the strip is, the creation of many nuances of the comics were created at the same time. We get to find out not only the details of how comics are made, but also the business side of it. By book’s end, the reader is more informed of both the process and the business and ultimately the creators who make them.

Overall, an excellent and painstaking investigated book that will give the reader a better understanding of the comics Industry.  The research by Karasik and Newgarden, show their love for the medium. The writing, never lulls, which is miracle for a research book. Altogether, even if you never read Nancy, you will love this book.

Story: Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik
Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: House of Women

One of the best movies I saw last year was The Beguiled, a remake of a Clint Eastwood movie, that subverted expectations at every turn. I remember watching the original movie, all those years ago, and thinking, how is this situation, supposed to be romantic, as Clint Eastwood’s character was a predator. Sofia Coppola, ad a similar thought, and reversed the perspective on the characters. The new movie, which is not only different but an actual thriller.

In this movie, Colin Farrell, plays Clint Eastwood’s character of Corporal McBurney, a charismatic Union soldier who seeks shelter, in an all-girls school. He goes about, trying to seduce each woman, but ends up suffering for his attempts. The movie, was not only better than the original film, but was timely and brought up themes that movies and books about the era had to brought up before. Those same themes of gender and power are explored in Sophie Goldstein’s House of Women.

We first meet, Sarai, Rhivka, Aphra and Kizzy, all emissaries, from the Empire, who has embarked on a mission to “civilize “an unknown planet, called Mopu. As they go about colonizing, increasingly they find, they are not who they expected, and they are not welcome, as the shadow of the last mission looms large over them and what happened those crew members. Soon, the mysterious humanoid stranger, Jael Dean, and the ecosystem that is the life blood of the planet, both overwhelm the women. By book’s end, the mission encounters some casualties but for those who survived, they not look at life the same way again.

Overall, a powerhouse graphic novel that I wished I knew about sooner as it is will not leave you soon after you read it. The story by Sophie Goldstein successfully combines science fiction, thriller, and horror, into a richly woven tapestry. The art by Goldstein is elegant, off putting, and vibrant. Altogether, a science fiction tale that draws you in with an interesting but familiar premise and then subverts all your expectations in the most glorious way.

Story: Sophie Goldstein Art: Sophie Goldstein
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation:Buy

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